Meghalaya Through Stories


I have long been fascinated with Shillong. Rather Meghalaya as a whole. Introduced to it through Janice Pariat’s books – ‘Nine Chambered Heart’, ‘Boats on Land’, and ‘Everything the Light Touches’. In her stories it seems a far-off land, deep in culture, myths and folklores, where people speak such a different tongue. The oral tradition of storytelling there has long enchanted me, of how mountains came to be, those fireside narrations and gatherings in winter nights. I long to visit the rolling hills, the forests, the sacred groves, the clean waters of Dawki river, the idyllic villages, and the numerous roadside waterfalls in the state.

Through ‘Name Place Animal Thing’ I was introduced to how the childhood and the school life of a teenage girl looks like in Shillong. The author, Daribha Lyndem, has put the tale so simplistically, like a collection of memories from days past.

And recently through numerous blogs by Cheryl Rhyn, I was again fascinated by so many local tales the place has, and its people can instantly conjure up. Her Gulmohur Quarterly post made me read several other short stories in the magazine issues.

I have started ‘Funeral Nights’ by . Just 100 pages through and numerous pages left, still I want to savor it. It is a tomb of a book, of epic scale. I want to take my time with it. Essay-like narratives in between, stories like this take time to develop, yet the knowledge you encompass as you finish the pages is huge. The author has vast experience of years spent in the land, and being a native is of course an added advantage.

In my TBR:

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon 2023. 


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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